What’s The Best Plasma Cutter For Farms and Homesteads?

Buying a plasma cutter for your farm or homestead can be a great way to reduce repairs costs on your own equipment and open up a wide variety of metal fabrication projects that were once not possible. A plasma cutter is a very versatile machine that can pay for itself in just a few projects alone. If you own a farm or homestead, it’s not ideal to call in a professional every time something needs to be fixed or fabricated. With a plasma cutter you can complete these tasks yourself and save a lot of money in the process.

What Kind Of Plasma Cutter Works Best For Farms And Homesteads?

Most farmers and homesteaders are likely to use their plasma cutters maybe 1-4 times a month to tackle small fabrication projects or to make a repair on a piece of heavy equipment or attachment. This means that you really don’t need a professional grade plasma cutter and you can instead invest in a machine that is more cost efficient. There are many plasma cutters less than $1000 out there that can provide an exceptional value for basic metal fabrication.

We recommend that you get a plasma cutter that has pilot arc and is rated to cut 1/2″ mild steel. A machine of this size has plenty of power and functionality for the average fabricator. Plasma cutters that meet this spec will be rated between 30-50 amps.

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Primeweld CUT50DP 50-Amp Plasma Cutter

The Primeweld CUT50DP is a popular choice among many fabricators as it is rated to produce clean cuts on up to 1/2″ mild steel, has built in pilot arc and has a three year warranty. This machine won’t break the bank and will give you all the cutting power you need to work on your equipment and fabrication projects. The three year warranty is what really sets the Primeweld brand apart from other brands in this price range.

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Should I Spend The Extra Money For A Plasma Cutter With Pilot Arc?

Pilot arc is a feature that allows your plasma cutter’s cutting arc to start without grounding the tip of your plasma torch to the metal you’re cutting. This is a great feature as it gives you more control of your cuts and reduces any blow back that you can often times experiences with non pilot arc machines.

So the question is, should I spend more on a machine with pilot arc? We say yes, you should spend a little extra money and get a plasma cutter with pilot arc as it is a very useful feature in a wide variety of situations. For the extra $100 it costs it’s 100% worth it.

Should I Buy A Plasma Cutter With A Built In Air Compressor For My Homestead/Farm?

Depending on your work area a plasma cutter with a built in air compressor maybe needed for your projects. Plasma cutters require an air compressor to supply air while they cut. Traditional plasma cutters use an external air compressor for this as they are typically used in a shop setting were an air compressor is available.

If you do not have access to an air compressor in your work area than you can purchase a plasma cutter with a built in compressor. These machines do not require an external air source as they have a compressor built-in. While this sounds awfully convenient be aware that plasma cutters with built in compressors:

  • Cost 2-3x more than traditional plasma cutters
  • Usually have smaller cutting capacities
  • Are more prone to failure over time (More moving parts inside the machine)

We recommend you steer clear of plasma cutters with built in compressors if possible. They cost a lot more and often times do not work as well. The only exception to this is the Hypertherm Powermax 30 AIR, which has performance on par with other 30 amp machines, but still costs a great deal more. Often times you can buy both a compressor and plasma cutter for the same price as a plasma cutter with a built in compressor. This would definitely be a better option as you would have the flexibility of using your compressor with other tools as well.

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Hypertherm Powermax 30 AIR (Built-In In Compressor)

If your work environment requires you to have a plasma cutter with a built-in compressor than get yourself a Hypertherm Powermax 30 AIR. Hypertherm has the best 30 amp plasma cutter with built-in air by far as it truly provides the power of a standard 30 amp machine. This machine is costly, but its performance is undeniable.

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Additional Resources

If you have never used a plasma cutter before be sure to read our comprehensive beginner’s plasma cutting guide. This will help walk you through the entire process of getting your machine hooked up correctly and making cuts safely.

If you are looking for help finding a new machine be sure to check out our list of the best plasma cutters that we recommend. If you need a plasma cutter with a built in air compressor you can view the machines that we recommend here.